Strike Guard 6 left me blue and angry at Abolaji Coker for the loss of Ajagbeja. He left the cornerstone of his Strike Guard alter ego in the bosom of death, in exchange for the life of his girlfriend Chichi’s mother. I was initially baffled by this action in a previous review but I’ve gleamed some context since I read the issues I skipped.
Boy, the things we do for love.
In M.anifest’s words, “life in the milky way doesn’t taste like Bailey’s” and this couldn’t be any truer for Coker. He was played by the dodgy angel Moriach, he’s lost his comrade and if that wasn’t enough, probably Chichi as well. Nothing is working out and junk food (its effects very visible around his belly), alcohol and solitude is how he tries to cope.
Talk about a man depressed!
I love this part of the story because of how real it is. People deal with loss in different ways but those three are some of the best examples. It’s nice to see an esoteric powerhouse wrestle such emotions. I can’t wait to see how this struggle molds his character.
To overcome his grief, he goes out for a ride while drinking. Human carelessness. Strike or not, he’s still human and the police trumpet this loudest, giving zero damns about his identity and try to make a quick one off him as is typical of most police. This is all too true in Ghana where the big men and small boys alike are expected to give something to the boys, almost as if it were a constitutional obligation.
Another way to deal with loss is rage and that parts the curtains for a new villain bent on avenging his family that died at the hands of a rival occult. With the aid of a deity, he becomes a walking mountain (the Thing anyone?) whose first target is a costumed Abolaji. Why? Besides deeming Strike a worthy sacrifice for his gods, I dunno. Perhaps Coker was once part of a cult.
This is Strike’s first fight without Ajagz and in spite of his renewed confidence and vim, gets his ass handed to him. Cue, M.anifest’s words from before.
Held above the ground by his neck, Strike is figuratively stuck in a man sized box with cobras for company. Any snake charmers around to aid him? Possibly. Next issue’s teaser page shows one particularly bad ass looking character behind a battered Strike. Who knows? This purple suited character might be Coker’s salvation personified.
Then there’s the possibility that the key-like or question mark-like symbols on Strike’s costume might unlock some inert power to overcome this new foe. This possibility because of Ayodele’s teaser, “ever wondered what the insignia on the SG costume means or are they just random question marks?” Issue 8 better come quick.
Strike Guard 7 packs some deep concepts it explores ever so subtly, throwing a few hints and leaving the reader thinking. It just might be the setup to a grand show in later issues. It’s wonderful that a new villain has been introduced, this issue would have been stale without him.
The art maintains its grungy, broody vibe so much so, I found the smooth comic relief panel distracting, especially Strike’s self-pep talk (poem or song). Naruto’s Killer B jinchuruki was what immediately came to mind seeing his antics and I couldn’t help but crack a smile at an honest comment, “make he dey pose like Michael Jackson for there“.